Have you ever wondered what interns do? Through my blog, I will talk about my internship experience as a Finance and Marketing Intern at Whyy? Change, starting with why I chose to apply for the Finance and Marketing role following the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Why Whyy? Change?
During my second year at the University of Leeds, I applied to plenty of internships, but many were cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. I thought that I may have run out of options before I found Whyy? Change. The role stood out as an opportunity to take the initiative and improve my creativity and communication skills, in a company with a flat organisational structure with an emphasis on personal development and teamwork. I applied to work at Whyy? Change in June 2020 and had a conversation with Ray Byrne (CEO) about the benefits of working in a forward-thinking SME company. I was excited to get started, and I embarked on my 9-week programme starting on the 1st of July. I was apprehensive and unsure of what to expect, but I got stuck in and have not looked back since!
My Internship Experience So Far
During my first day at Whyy? Change I had the privilege of meeting my partner intern Matthew Trueman, as well as Ray Byrne (CEO) and Emma Harrison (Corporate Governance). They were really welcoming, and I got a real flavour for what Whyy? Change is all about. From then on Matthew has been working virtually from home, and we have been keeping regular contact over WhatsApp and Microsoft Teams.
My role involves working on social media marketing through LinkedIn and Twitter particularly, as well as working in finance through tax projects and competitor research. We created a communication strategy plan, to work out what content and social media channels we wanted to make use of. Once our planning was complete, we started producing content using software such as Canva, Microsoft Office and Trello to track our progress. These are all useful tools for digital marketing, and I would highly recommend them for any marketeer who is just starting out.
Using the tools mentioned above, we created a host of interesting and insightful social media content including polls, news updates, infographics, and motivational quotes just to name a few. The most important thing that I learnt through producing a host of different content for social media was to keep posts organic wherever possible, with an emphasis on business and personal insights. We scheduled weekly progress updates with senior members of staff to discuss our efforts for that week. I am also very proud to have assisted in creating a company Facebook page, which has made a real difference in promoting the company and reaching more potential customers as a result.
We have been working on the campaign strategy for the six channels on offer at Whyy? Change, including Apprenticeships, Lean&6 Sigma, Leadership, Marketing, Functional Skills and Quality. Working with all 6 channels have provided me with great insights into the company’s internal workings and the great opportunities on offer at Whyy? Change.
I have also had the opportunity to work on the company’s corporation tax and VAT. This project involved calculating the firm’s tax payable for the financial year, I also made a recommendation as to whether the firm should continue to be VAT registered, with the benefits and drawbacks of the decision discussed in detail. I found it interesting to be able to investigate tax in more detail and understand how important tax management and strategy is to a business.
In addition to tax projects, I carried out competitor research for the Quality channel. I researched competitor firms who offered courses in ISO 9001, IS0 14001, ISO 45001, and AS 9100, including Bywater and Balatas amongst others. This project was insightful in getting to grips with the training Whyy? Change is looking to offer, and just how competitive the market is. I really developed my ability to produce and analyse data using Microsoft Excel, before coming up with detailed recommendations.
Whyy? Change Culture and Values
I have learnt so much throughout my time at Whyy Change, but what has really stood out to me is the culture of the company, and the great values they work by. Working at Whyy? Change, it’s all about showing the right behaviours. Whether you are an expert or a novice, showing motivation and a willingness to learn are essential skills to be successful. Ray Byrne (CEO) really values initiative and continuous improvement as essential skills to enable us to provide a value-added service to our customers and clients. Such continuous improvement has been evident amongst staff when it has come to developing the new company website and the development of exciting new courses and training on offer.
Skills I have developed through my Internship
Key skills that I have developed through my internship include communication skills, leadership and most importantly the ability to take the initiative on projects. I also gained invaluable skills in data collection and analysis, using Microsoft Office and Word. Through data analysis, I have also developed my analytical skills which will be invaluable for future roles and in my final year of study at the University of Leeds.
If you liked this blog, why not read our Marketing Intern’s blog on their virtual intern experience?
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